The association representing B.C. landlords says proposed federal marijuana legislation could be damaging to both properties and tenants.
“We’re making huge investments in these assets and they’re putting them at risk,” said David Hutniak with Landlord BC.
Under the proposed rules, Canadians will be allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants, each under 100 centimetres.
“This is not an inert plant, it’s not like a little tropical plant that you just put in sunlight and it grows. You have to cultivate it with high-wattage lights, more humidity, more water, and drying it in an oven. So there’s fire risks, increased humidity, increased mould. Those are the physical issues to the structure.”
But beyond the danger to the building, Hutniak says landlords won’t be able to guarantee the safety of residents living near units where marijuana is grown.
“We have a legal responsibility to ensure they have a safe and secure place to live and that is where our greatest concern lies.”
Landlord BC is calling for a ban on the cultivation of marijuana inside rental units, but the association says it has received little response from the federal government.
“We’re not optimistic that the feds are going to do anything. We think it’s a done deal. We’ll have to work with the province to come up with some common sense solutions.”
Ali Wasuk with WestCanna Medical Dispensary agrees the proposed legislation should include more regulations, but he doesn’t fear an abundance of small grow-ops because he says the costs of getting involved will dissuade potential growers.
“The start-up cost is a lot; it’s not as easy as planting seeds and letting your plant grow. The more you teach people, the more they are able to know if it is for them or not.”